Strategisk CSR: En operationel tilgang til udviklingen af strategisk CSR for designvirksomheder i den amerikanske beklædningsindustri

Karina Sødinge Overbeck Cook

Student thesis: Master thesis


Concurrently with the increased popularity and acceptance of the concept of Corporate Social Re-sponsibility (CSR) in the wider context of international business, critics have voiced skepticism be-cause of the disproportionate relationship between the investments made in CSR and the value created for firms as well as for society. This paper takes its point of departure in the view that the mediocre return on investment from CSR to a large degree can be attributed to the fact that most companies apply a generic and tactical approach to their work with CSR and in many cases focus only on risk minimization and establishing legitimacy. It adheres to the emerging view that CSR initiatives and activities that are integrated in the strategy of the company can establish a greater harmony between firm’s profit maximization and a positive development in the surrounding society, thereby creating shared value. Few contributions though, have thus far attempted to operationalize the emerging concept of strategic CSR. This paper attempts to do so. Through an eclectic approach, a theoretical framework is developed to answer the thesis question: How can design companies in the American apparel industry make CSR an integral part of their strategy? The eclectic approach allows for the development of a framework that does not presume ceteris paribus assumptions and therefore it is easier applicable to the complex reality that firms have to operate in. It presents four strategic dimensions for the integration of CSR into the strategy of the firm: it draws on the resource-based view to (1) identify the resources that create the founda-tion for sustainable competitive advantages of the firm; it draws on the industry-based view to (2) map the value creating activities of the firms and (3) identify factors in the competitive context that are determining for the firm’s competitive position; and it integrates a stakeholder perspective in acknowledgement of, and to (4) identify the important stakeholders who have the power to influ-ence the firm’s ability to implement its strategy. The paper argues that by developing CSR initia-tives and activities that support any one of these dimensions, the firm has successfully integrated CSR into the strategy. It further argues that a CSR initiative or activity’s potential for value creation for both design firms and society is maximized where the four dimensions intersect

EducationsMSc in Organisational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages95